Wednesday, April 6, 2016

March Madness, Catchup

In no order, our March:

Jeff took the boys to Slade, Kentucky to rock climb and hike and Janey and I stayed behind. They had fun and so did we.  Jeff always says, "Are you sure you don't want to come?" And I always say, "So positive."   They Face "Fimed" (Janey's term) us, in a cave with a fire going.  They didn't camp out but by the way they made their hotel sound, it probably would have been a better idea. (Gross!)

Took Isaac to get an interview suit and new shoes as graduation is a month away!  

Still doing Whole30, so now it's Whole120?  Or maybe just real life till I feel like it. I LOVE it. It has improved my health enormously.  I send Abbey pics of my meals, and she is tortured by them at college. My newest favorites are zucchini chips, balsamic roasted brussel sprouts and chicken salad with guacamole instead of mayo.  I love that I am forced to try new things and although I don't force the family, they all are willing to try "my" food.

When Abbey was home I helped her paint her room. (I told her she had to do it all herself, but could feel her pain when she had to do a second coat so I pitched in at the very end).  Gone is turquoise, now it's a light lavender.  And now she knows how to paint, which is a great skill to know.

Jeff went to camp for a week with Andrew's class. I received so many funny photos from other parents also on the trip of my husband who LOVES 6th grade camp.  This must have been a fire starting contest?

Flat Stanley.
 I owe my brother Joe big time, because he has pulled off Flat Stanley for every kid, as he has always lived in such interesting places. 

Easter break and a plank contest. I won. I really did!  Because Andrew wasn't there. And maybe some people laughed and fell. But I won, losing because you laugh is just your tough luck. 

We went to Mass early because Andrew was assigned to serve at 9 a.m.  There were some protests by the older ones but we pulled it off. We came home and found the Easter baskets and I made a huge breakfast.  It was so fun.  The night before we had a great dinner of steak, potatoes, asparagus, etc. We laughed so hard-it was one of those nights where it was just all of us, and that is rare. We discussed where we are going on vacation this summer (it was Seaside by vote, but thank you Rachel, it's now Kiawah, and I'm so excited as we have never been), and then we talked about all of our other vacation drives, and who threw up (what and where), and flat tires, and a couple times how we thought Dad might kill someone (that someone seemed to be Isaac quite a few times-think "Daddy is going to kill Ralphie" not really kill but it might sort of feel like it), and it's funny how all those moments become funny right?  Because they aren't really when they are happening, you feel like the ONLY family, and it's so nice to laugh about it one day.  It puts it all in perspective. 

SO sweet. She loves this bunny.

Easter bunny brought a new bathing suit or shorts and shirt for everyone (and a little toy for younger ones) and enough candy to eat in a day so the sugar high wasn't dragged out to far. 

Andrew.

Patty.

Matt.

I made these girls eat jelly beans in front of me, so I could feel like I was eating them too. I won't lie, I stayed strong but jelly beans and chocolate-that was a little bit of torture.  I know I don't want a few-I want an entire bag and seven chocolate bunnies and a whole tray or two of Peeps, so I just can't start. It's not worth it for a few.

Piggies.

She got into the baby bin and found her old carrier which she now uses for her babies.

I had to laugh at this, as it was snowing a couple days ago.  Janey looked out the window and said, "Snow go away, Mommy hates you!" I didn't realize I had been so vocal about it, or dramatic, but apparently I have.

But snow skies are beautiful.

Making apple chips. I've made sweet potato, apple, zucchini, and carrot. Sweet potatoes win, zucchini next. 

And suddenly it's April and my calendar is filled up to the max with soccer, and the play, and all the spring stuff that makes spring exciting and busy and sometimes overwhelming.  My life seems SO manageable now, with Janey being three and two at college. I remember the days well of feeling so stressed out, timing feedings with driving this one here and that one there, and narrowing errands down to one or two a week with fussy car seat babies and so much to do here. It's funny how parenting changes so much in just a matter of time, but seems endless when in the thick of the harder stages. I feel so much more peaceful now-maybe it's the calm after the storm of some tough years of baby/teenager/pre-teen etc all at once. It will all be okay. And when it's not, mothers rally. And pray. Prayer is the answer. I love my rosary, as corny as that sounds. There is nothing like Hail Mary's for me anymore, proven after the last year for sure. I swear, it's miraculous and even the littlest problem has been presented with a stellar solution after I pray to Mary.  One day I went on a walk, and my Iphone ran out of battery, so no music. and I decided to say a few decades and when I got home the very same worry I prayed about was opened up to me beautifully with guidance and direction that I could give to a child in need.  In a matter of minutes, peace and rightness.  It's awesome.

25 comments :

  1. You will love Kiawah it so great with families-beautiful and quiet. One of our top favorites. This summer we are headed to Boca Grande in FL, another amazing quiet little beach town and much cheaper in the summer!! You have me interested in your new eating...I, like you had a blessing baby at 43 and he's now 10 mths and the baby weight just doesn't melt like it use to... :)

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  2. You were right to avoid the candy. I thought I'd just eat a piece and then we had a mess for the next week. Even my running suffered. Amazing how when one part of the equation is off the rest crumbles. Good for you! Post more recipes!

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  3. You will LOVE Kiawah! We go to its neighbor, Seabrook Island. Both so beautiful and natural. Lots to do for all ages, pools, tennis, basketball, horseback riding. I can't go anywhere else since I've found it.

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  4. You head to Kiawah and my husband in Arkansas wants us to head up north to Northern Michigan to escape the heat! Enjoyed reading your Easter update. Thanks for the reminder on asking our spiritual mother to pray for us!

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  5. You head to Kiawah and my husband in Arkansas wants us to head up north to Northern Michigan to escape the heat! Enjoyed reading your Easter update. Thanks for the reminder on asking our spiritual mother to pray for us!

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  6. My FIL helped develop Kiawah back in the late 70's- early 80's! It is gorgeous!! We are going in May. I love having something to look forward to during the crazy last bit of school.

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  7. I visit a statue of the Blessed Mary at a Catholic college up the road from us. I tell my family "I am going to visit my best friend" whenever I go there - they know where I am going. I pray to Mary about anything that is on my mind. Like you, I always see things much clearer.

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  8. We are in Kiawah several times a year since my family has a house there and we live in Charleston. You will have a great time! Feel free to email me with any questions!

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  9. I was venting my anger to my husband about a someone love deeply who has fallen so very far from the church. As I am telling him my anger, I hear myself say...I know I really should be praying at least 3 Hail Marys a day and ask mother Mary to bring whatever needs to be prayed for (for this person) to the Lord. I said it, but it was like the holy spirit said it, because it just came out of my mouth. And then I come to your blog and get another reminder. Hmm...

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    1. Also, can you do a post on vacation planning. We are a young(er) family. Our eldest is 5 and we have a 3 and 2 year old. When did you start doing trips with long car rides? How do you make it affordable/budget it for it. Do you have any good Interest sites to look at when searching places to stay?

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    2. Hi Jessica! We started long car rides when the kids were young but there were definite years we skipped with fussy babies! We always tried to go somewhere if we could. We were lucky when we started out to have a free place to stay by Naples (and yes we drove 24 hours to get there!). I have found beach vacations work best for us. I ask everyone I know where they have gone and what they liked about it. Personally I prefer places that require minimum driving once there. My favorite place is Seaside FL but it has become so so pricey. I look on VRBO for rentals and it usually takes me hours and hours till I find what I want, in our price range and this is after I've researched the place to death. We've gone to Hilton Head also and have stayed in a condo when we had younger ones and it was ideal. (Shorewood Villas). Access to a pool is always important for me. I have also found we do best by ourselves, and without a lot of hoopla (aka Disney-ish vacations). I like the kids to be presented with few simple choices. Beach, pool, swing set, not ferris wheels etc. That way they are more content and I am not constantly saying no, expectations are clear. "We are here to swim and go to the beach." There are also my husband's vacations which are quite different from mine. Like the year we drove with all the kids to CO (24 hours again). I can mix one of these in every 5 years but that's my mental and physical capacity for those sort of trips. :) I make fun of him for his vacation ideas that I don't find at all realistic for us sometimes (NYC with six kids, including a two year old? NO. A 10 hour flight to Hawaii? NO. Camping in Yellowstone? NO. I want us all to have fun and I want it to be easy and I don't camp.) So we compromise. And go to the beach a lot. :)

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    3. Jessica, I agree that this would make a great blog post!

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  10. Way to go! I think it's Whole30 for life for you. Have you discovered shredded brussels sprouts? I love roasting my brussels, but in addition, I've been buying a bag of shredded. I saute them - usually it's our weekend breakfast - and put fried eggs over them. It's a great combo! Tonight is breakfast for dinner....but your burger looks fantastic! I have not made zucchini fries. I might have to try that because I got tired of zoodles. I like your chicken salad idea with avocado. I did the same thing with tuna salad. I love seeing the kids - can't believe how big they are! And I agree about the family dinners. We had two and those are what I enjoy way more than the holiday madness (which is what it is when you have/come from a big family!) I am envious of your beach trip. I have had a number of friends who have been there and love it. I have only been to Myrtle and never any of the other beaches of NC or SC. Although, after reading The Wright Brothers, I have a hankering to go to Kitty Hawk. Unfortunately, the ocean will have to wait for another phase of our life.... We will be all together on the shores of Lake Erie this summer (and only a short drive.) The rest of our trips are: graduation, Chicago recital, Chicago move-in, NYC trip.....all for college comings and goings. It sounds exhausting doesn't it? I am energized when I am in the city....but, still, the ocean....there is nothing like being by the water.

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  11. i loved catching up with your family in this post! and i love to hear the encouragement that with time, change happens and with prayer answers and options are seen more clearly! happy spring!

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  12. I've been to Kiawah and Seaside numerous times and I'm afraid the beauty and child friendliness of Seaside far outweighs Kiawah. (I love letting the kids take off on their bikes-and they love that freedom) And those east coast beaches are really different than the beautiful water and white beaches of the gulf. I guess I was just surprised by the brown hard beaches and brown water. No sand castle building.
    We have also stayed in Seacreast (north) for years right bedside Rosemary and it is awesome. The houses are less expensive than a Seaside or Rosemary houses and the pool is ginormous! Also, a great area for riding bikes.

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  13. Hi Sarah! My husband and I finished our Whole30, but are keeping most of it going for now. I feel so much better. Could you post your recipe for sweet potato and zucchini chips? I'd love to try them.

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  14. You will love Kiawah! And going to the Blessed Mother never fails to calm me. I try to give it to her and not worry.... Well, worry less! :)

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  15. Hi Sarah: I love your blog! I have a bit of an issue with chocolate also - I think I use it to elevate my mood or as an antidote to stress - believe it or not. You have mentioned more than once that you also crave chocolate - has the Whole 30 plus affected your chocolate cravings?

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    1. I told my husband that chocolate is my frenemy. I will always miss it, but know it's no good for me. I don't know the difference between craving it and just always wanting to eat-I think I am in the latter category. But I just try really hard to not think about what I can't have and think about what I can have, or what is planned for the next meal. I do think that eating more protein has had to have helped me with sugar because I've never made it this far without it.

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  16. Hi! Can you share your recipe for zucchini chips? I baked mine at 225 for 2+ hours and many of them never crisped. They were chewy. Flavor was great though.

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    1. Hi Maggie-Try 250 and it takes FOREVER. Two hours again. If they are all burning they might be too thin. I make mine in a convection oven also which is supposed to cook quicker, so maybe it might take even longer.

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  17. You are so good with the whole 30, Sarah!! Janey is the cutest and I can't wait to hear what you think about Kiawah -- it looks like heaven.

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  18. I wrote this comment on the wrong post ooops sorry. It is for this post. Written with Love to you ♥
    Sarah Jesus said "no one comes to the Father but by me." John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. That is not said meaning to insult you. :-)
    We go right to the Lord and His Son who died on the cross for our Sins. Mary was certainly a beautiful Godly
    woman that God chose. But as a mere mortal we must go to the Lord! No Saints..oxx

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  19. Hi Janet, and of course I see no insult in your words!
    Here is an informative explanation on Catholicism and why we pray to the Saints:
    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/praying-to-the-saints
    And Mary:
    http://catholicbridge.com/catholic/mary_do_catholics_pray_to_her.php

    I love being Catholic, and love so much the tradition I was born into-I always think of how many generations of Catholicism "survived" in my family and what a beautiful way of life it is to "hand down" to my children, who I hope and pray hand it down to their children also. I have so many fond memories of May Crowning, learning to pray the rosary and learning about the Saints and what they have taught us in their extraordinary lives-these things have only made my life here on earth so much better and have brought me great peace as they have to my mother and her mother and so on. I hope those articles explain a little what we believe and why!

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  20. Loved seeing your March pictures. I live about 50 minutes from Slade key. We visit the Gorge often. Glad some of your family got to enjoy its beauty.

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